The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Don's Specialty Meats, alleging that a black man employed there was subjected to racist treatment.
The suit, filed in federal court in September, alleges that the employee was identified as "black boy" on the work schedule, called the n-word and subjected to harassment at work because he is a black person.
The EEOC alleges that they investigated the man's complaint and tried to work something out with Don's but wasn't able to.
We reached out to Don's and they told us their attorney will issue a statement tomorrow.
According to the suit, the employee worked at both the Scott and Carencro facilities that Don's operates in Lafayette Parish. Even though both facilities employ more than 75 people, at each location the employee was one of only one or two black people working there, the lawsuit states.
"The general manager routinely referred to (the employee) as “Black boy,” “the Black boy,” or “little Black guy.” In addition, (the employee) was identified as “Black boy” on the schedule; non-African American employees were identified by name," the suit alleges. "The general manager and other employees routinely used racial slurs in the presence of (the employee).... A manager told him that Don’s Specialty Meats, Inc. was hiring, but that applicants “just can’t be Black” and that the general manager “don’t want them to be Black.”
The employee also was singled out for work that similarly-situated employees did not do, the suit alleges.
"In addition to preparing food, (the employee) was required to pick up trash and debris on a public road. Non-African American employees were not required to do this. A manager told (the employee) that the general manager told the manager to have “the Black boy” do it," the suit alleges.
The manager was disciplined, once, the suit alleges. The punishment was that she was not allowed to wear her Don's shirt for a day.
"Don’s did not take any prompt, remedial action in regard to the harassment. Don’s Specialty Meats, Inc. did not otherwise discipline on any manager or supervisor," the suit alleges.
The employee finally resigned in July 2020.
The suit asks that the court order Don's to stop any racist practices, properly train employees about these practices, and make the employee "whole" for the damages he sustained as well as back pay.
This is not Don's first run-in with the feds over employment issues.
Back in 2016, Don's Specialty Meats agreed to pay $480,313 in back wages and damages to 133 workers to resolve U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act violations at the business's Scott and Carencro locations, according to the Labor Department.
Here's a copy of the suit filed in September: